Five decades after jets wiped out large Western propeller airliners, the turboprop is pushing back. Until the arrival of the much-heralded propfan, it will not recover the trunkline ground it occupied until the 1960s, but pressure is building to expand the turboprop in the role that it has held since then as a fuel-efficient, short-haul passenger aircraft. By the 1970s, the largest Western turboprop airliners surviving in production carried only about 50 passengers at modest speeds and ...

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